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Valerie Netto

Horse Trainer Riding Instructor, American Riding Instructors Association

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How would we treat each other if we were not controlled by a need to be right?

We all have areas of life that we are passionate about like religion, politics and horse training. We all think we are right, marriages end, families are torn apart and through history we have died trying to prove it. Why, and if the saying "would you rather be right or would you rather be happy" appeals to so many of us why do we cling so tenaciously to the need to be right? HINT:
E veryone
G oes
O verboard

Topics: polotics religion

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  • Dec 22 2011: I don't think it's only about ego. Depending on the circumstances someone might take a position on a topic as a straw argument to motivate action or discussion. I do it all the time - sometimes I'll even take a more extreme position on a topic than even I believe in, just to put a stake in the ground and move people along. I'll hold that stake lightly in the hopes that even if I get knocked down a couple of notches we'll land on an agreement that is more within the bounds of what I expect. Also on controversial matters like factors driving poverty, crime, or topics like abortion, we'll tend to view these issues through the lens of our beliefs and world outlook. So no matter how much cold hard data you look at, interpretation plays a huge role. So in this case it's less a matter of "wanting" to be right, and more a case of genuinely believing that one is right.

    So yes ego is absolutely there and I'm as guilty as anyone else in falling victim to it every now and again (maybe even in my position on this topic!). So if we strip out the desire to be right, sure perhaps we'd all do less talking and more listening. But we need people to take a position on something in order to motivate discussion...and if people genuinely believe they are right they should defend the position, but then have the humility to give in where appropriate. Might not always happen though, as beliefs that are rooted in how someone sees the world are almost impossible to shake. My two pesos!

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